Some of the state's biggest Ute fans won't be packed in the stands of Rice-Eccles Stadium or tailgating on the University of Utah campus to celebrate Thursday's season football opener.
A group of Taylorsville residents loves the Utes so much that they successfully petitioned the city to rename their street Crimson Court in honor of, you guessed it, their beloved university and all it represents.
The idea arose a few years ago, when neighbors living in eight houses around a cul-de-sac near 6130 South and 2480 West got to know one another, said Taylorsville resident Adam Erickson.
At a barbecue and other gatherings, it blossomed: Wouldn't it be fun to rename the street something snappier than a plain numerical address?
With most neighbors sharing a mutual love for the Utes, a new name Crimson Court took shape. Those on the block who weren't die-hard sports enthusiasts still thought the name sounded nice, Erickson added.
"We were shocked there was no other street named Crimson Court," Erickson said. "We floated it by the neighbors and everyone was pretty enthusiastic."
In May, the Taylorsville City Council heard the group's initial request for the name change, said City Administrator John Inch Morgan. Last month the decision was finalized.
And this week just in time for Thursday's game pitting the Utes against Northern Colorado a new city sign bearing the name of Crimson Court made its debut, adorned with Taylorsville's new logo.
Taylorsville council member Jerry Rechtenbach, who represents the district where Crimson Court's residents live, said he was surprised all eight neighbors were able to reach a consensus on the Crimson Court name before bringing their plan to city officials. As a U. alumnus, Rechtenbach was on board, he said.
"I told them if they wanted to name it Cougar Court, I would have vetoed it," Rechtenbach joked.
He said the city developed a naming ordinance, last amended in 2010, to put a process in place for reviewing name changes to public spaces.
The policy was designed to prevent situations in which political figures might try to put a stamp on a piece of property they helped develop, he said. When a member of the public wants to rename a public area, a naming committee with five members is formed. Three must be residents. A City Council member and a representative from city staff must also be on the committee, according to the ordinance.
Rechtenbach said the council doesn't entertain an overwhelming number of requests for street-name changes, but a few have gone before the council in recent years.
An entry street to Taylorsville High was renamed "Warrior Way" to recognize the school's mascot. Pedestrian bridges near 6200 South by Bennion Junior High and Calvin Smith Elementary also were awarded special naming rights. And a Majerus Court also exists as a tribute to former U. basketball coach Rick Majerus, who led his Utes team to the NCAA Final Four championship game in 1998.
During the process of approving Crimson Court's name, at least one councilman Larry Johnson worried that the decision to allow residents to rename their street might set off a flood of similar requests.
Rechtenbach acknowledged that new people may move into Crimson Court in the future who "might share a different point of view" from the current neighborhood's support for the Utes.
But Erickson promises that anyone would be embraced in Crimson Court's neighborhood, should houses pop up on the market, even gasp! Brigham Young University fans.
Taylorsville's newly designed street signs feature a blue and tan logo, he noted. The blue may be of solace to Cougar faithful settling in the area.
"They're welcome," Erickson said of new neighbors who may prefer to cheer on Provo's team. "But the street name is not going to change."
Pamela Manson contributed to this report
Looking ahead The big game
P Utah hosts Northern Colorado in the football season opener at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday.
The game will be televised nationally on the Pac-12 Networks (in Utah, Comcast channel 757/HD and 37/SD). The game will also be broadcast on the radio on ESPN700 AM (espn700sports.com) and SIRIUS 128.
Find Taylorsville's naming ordinance for public places here: http://www.sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=540
Key points in the ordinance
A public place includes, but is not limited to, streets, courts, parks, thoroughfares, buildings, and other places.
Prior to naming a public place, a naming committee is formed. It has five members: three city residents, a city council member and a city staff member.
Before recommending the city council name a public place, the committee considers: an adjacent street to the public place, predominant physical features of the area, the subdivision where the place is located, a state or nationally recognized person who has improved the quality of life for the public, a significant historic feature or event, and an individual or group who has made exceptional contributions to the city.
Public places shall only be renamed for good cause.
The street sign marking Crimson Court is the first sign that includes Taylorsville's new city logo.
The design, which replaces a wagon-wheel symbol, is navy blue and tan with a large T in front of a C. Two variations are being used, one with the city name in a circle around the letters and another with "Taylorsville" spelled out in larger type under the letters.
The updated look is the first logo makeover since the community was incorporated in 1996.